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Young's fantasy draft value is open to interpretation

Can Vince Young develop into a legitimate No. 1 fantasy quarterback?

Young is a living Rorschach test for fantasy football owners.

One owner looks at him and sees a quarterback whose value gets a boost from his running ability. Another owner sees a runner whose occasional ability to throw is not enough to warrant drafting him. Another sees a young player who came into his own while nearly salvaging an unsalvageable season in Tennessee last year. Another sees a never-ending project who cannot be counted on from week to week.

Just don't ask me to interpret what each of those responses means about your fantasy psyche.

Yes, four years after the Titans selected Young with the third overall pick of the 2006 NFL Draft, owners are still trying to figure out where he fits in the fantasy landscape.

Last year at this time, of course, Young couldn't even be found on the fantasy horizon, a distant second on the depth chart after starter Kerry Collins led the Titans to an NFL-best 13-3 record during the 2008 regular season. But when Tennessee stumbled to six losses out of the gate in 2009, Young filled in admirably to earn the job for 2010.

Still, that doesn't mean it's time to turn over your fantasy team to Young.

Even while leading the Titans to eight wins in their last 10 games in 2009, Young averaged only 188 passing yards per game. In 2007, when he started 15 games, his per-game average was 170 yards. Sure, there's the occasional big game (like 387 passing yards against Arizona last season), but the Titans are a team that wants to win by running the ball and playing stout defense.

Young's ability to contribute to the running game is an obvious plus, but he averaged a modest 27.6 yards per game on the ground in his 10 starts in 2009, so it's hardly an every-week bonus. And as long as Chris Johnson is still in the Titans' backfield, Young can't be counted on for enough plays with his feet to make a difference.

We all know that feeling when we see Young's name in our opponent's lineup and hold our breath hoping this isn't the week he goes off. But better to have one or two weeks of that than a lost season waiting for it to happen.

Bottom line: You could do worse than to have Young as a spot starter and bye-week fill-in. But you could do a whole lot better for your No. 1 fantasy quarterback.

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